I have been making photographs for about eighteen years and have been writing about it – at least for personal reference – for over ten. I have never had so much difficulty writing about photography as I have with our recent trip to Paris.
I am verbose. I am long winded. I am a master of the never ending run-on sentence that lawyers love to craft and have a near monopoly on deciphering.
Describing Paris in words? That’s tough.
V surprised me a with a trip to Paris this past July. She speaks French and has been there before. I speak three phrases in French – one of my own creation and totally unfit to print here – and missed out on the opportunity to experience Paris while I was living in London. The Desert Storm II / “freedom fries” era didn’t inspire wanderlust.
We departed with troubling news of stormy weather and put on our bravest faces – who wants to go on a trip to a destination slated for horrible weather? After arriving at CDG and taking the train to the Metro to our hotel, we were pleasantly surprised to find no rain, thunder or lightning, frogs falling from the sky or other conditions that could ruin our trip.
Our time in Paris coincided with the beginning of the French vacation season – we were relieved to find fantastic restaurants and shops open on Friday and Saturday and disappointed to find them shuttered on Sunday and Monday. Luckily we spent most of our time walking, making pictures and eating great food, so we made the most of our time and made notes for our return.
We are going to return.
Note – no trip to this city is complete without getting a sandwich from the gentleman pictured above. I didn’t catch his name, but he can be found at the Marché des Enfants Rouges where he will be singing a song that goes “yum yum yum!” and has a line wrapping around the market.
We had absolutely fantastic meals, ate delicious pastries, sipped perfectly prepared coffee concoctions, devoured beautiful loaves of bread and made about a million notes for places that we need to visit when we return – the painfully well-stocked camera shops on Boulevard Beaumarchais, the boutiques of the Marais, the Ferrari rental on the Champs-Élysées, etc.
Maybe not the Ferarri rental, but you get the picture.
Speaking of pictures, Paris is a city that loves the arts and has the galleries and stores to support them. As I mentioned above, Beaumarchais has absolutely fantastic camera stores including one dedicated to all things large format…next door to a store dedicated to all things medium format. Wow.
We covered a great deal of ground in the city and I am looking forward to our return. I look forward to really digging in on the photographs that I made while in Paris, as I feel like the images do a better job explaining the magic of the city than my clumsy words ever will.
As V says about Paris (and hopes to see as a tourism slogan), everything you’ve heard is true. Note – this is V’s slogan. She is also an attorney, so don’t even think about stealing it. 🙂
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